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SMU Faculty Senate names 2018 winners of Outstanding Staff Awards

The SMU Faculty Senate honored five exemplary staff members with 2018 Faculty Senate Outstanding Staff Awards during the Senate’s last meeting of the 2017-18 academic year on Wednesday, May 2.

All winners are nominated by SMU faculty members, and the awards are presented each academic year at the Faculty Senate’s final meeting in May. The recognition is “a measure not just of jobs well done, but also of the personal contributions the individuals have made to the web of interconnections that make up SMU,” according to the Faculty Senate’s website.

This year’s winners:

  • Kathryn Canterbury, Grants and Research, Annette Caldwell Simmons School of Education and Human Development
  • Chuck Donaldson, Academic Services, Meadows School of the Arts
  • Melissa Emmert, Department of Political Science, Dedman College of Humanities and Sciences
  • Dee Powell, Dean’s Office, Cox School of Business
  • Janet Stephens, Academic Services, Meadows School of the Arts

In addition to the glass trophies presented to each honoree, they received gifts ranging from season tickets to art books to museum memberships, donated by SMU AthleticsBarnes & Noble (SMU Bookstore), SMU Dining Services, Meadows Museum and the Meadows School of the Arts.

Nobel laureate Barry C. Barish to receive honorary SMU doctorate during 103rd Commencement, May 19, 2018

Barry C. BarishNobel laureate Barry Clark Barish, Ph.D., Linde Professor Emeritus of Physics at the California Institute of Technology and a leading expert on cosmic gravitational waves, will receive an honorary doctoral degree during SMU’s 103rd all-University Commencement ceremony. The event begins at 9 a.m. Saturday, May 19, 2018, in Moody Coliseum.

Barish shared the Nobel Prize in Physics in 2017 for his work in establishing the Laser Interferometer Gravitational-Wave Observatory (LIGO) and the first observations of gravitational waves – disturbances in the fabric of space and time predicted by Albert Einstein based on his General Theory of Relativity.

He will receive the Doctor of Science degree, honoris causa, from SMU during the ceremony.

On Friday, May 18, Dr. Barish will give a free public lecture on campus. “Einstein, Black Holes and Gravitational Waves” will begin at 3 p.m. in Crum Auditorium, Collins Executive Education Center, on the SMU campus. The lecture will be preceded by a reception at 2:15 p.m. Free parking will be available in the University’s Binkley and Moody garages, accessible from the SMU Boulevard entrance to campus.

RSVP online to attend the Barry Barish Public Lecture

“Dr. Barry Barish has changed the way we see the universe with his work,” said SMU President R. Gerald Turner. “His accomplishments as an experimental physicist have broken new ground and helped to confirm revolutionary theories about the structure of our cosmos.”

“Conferring an honorary degree is an important tradition for any university,” said SMU Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs Steven C. Currall. “For SMU, this year’s decision takes on special meaning, as the University is the home of a highly-regarded Department of Physics deeply involved in research ranging from variable stars to the Higgs boson. Dr. Barish and his record of world-changing accomplishment represent the very best of his field. He’s an outstanding example of what all our graduates can aspire to as they begin their own professional endeavors.”

Einstein predicted in 1916 that gravitational waves existed, generated by systems and regions such as binary stars and black holes and by events such as supernovae and the Big Bang. However, Einstein thought the cosmic waves would be too weak to ever be detected. Barish’s work at LIGO resulted in the first observation on Earth of these cosmic ripples on Sept. 14, 2015 — emanating from the collision of two black holes in the distant universe.

Barish was the principal investigator for LIGO from 1994 to 2005 and director of the LIGO Laboratory from 1997 until 2005. He led LIGO from its funding by the National Science Board of the National Science Foundation (NSF) through its final design stages, as well as the construction of the twin LIGO interferometers in Hanford, Washington, and Livingston, Louisiana.

In 1997, Barish established the LIGO Scientific Collaboration (LSC), an organization that unites more than 1,000 collaborators worldwide on a mission to detect gravitational waves, explore the fundamental physics of gravity, and develop gravitational-wave observations as a tool of astronomical discovery. Barish also oversaw the development and approval of the proposal for Advanced LIGO, a program that developed major upgrades to LIGO’s facilities and to the sensitivity of its instruments compared to the first-generation LIGO detectors. Advanced LIGO enabled a large increase in the extent of the universe probed, as well as the discovery of gravitational waves during its first observation run.

Bookmark SMU Live for the May Commencement livestream: smu.edu/live

After LIGO, Barish became director of the Global Design Effort for the International Linear Collider (ILC)—an international team that oversaw the planning, design, and research and development program for the ILC—from 2006 to 2013. The ILC is expected to explore the same energy range in particle physics currently being investigated by the Large Hadron Collider (LHC), but with more precision.

Barish joined Caltech in 1963 as part of an experimental group working with particle accelerators. From 1963 to 1966, he developed and conducted the first high-energy neutrino beam experiment at Fermilab. This experiment revealed evidence for the quark substructure of the nucleon (a proton or neutron) and provided crucial evidence supporting the electroweak unification theory of Nobel Laureates Sheldon Glashow, Abdus Salam and Steven Weinberg.

Following the neutrino experiment, Barish became one of the leaders of MACRO (Monopole, Astrophysics and Cosmic Ray Observatory), located 3,200 feet under the Gran Sasso mountains in Italy. The international collaboration set what are still the most stringent limits on the existence of magnetic monopoles. Magnetic monopoles are the magnetic analog of single electric charges and could help confirm a Grand Unified Theory that seeks to unify three of nature’s four forces — the electromagnetic, weak, and strong forces — into a single force. The MACRO collaboration also discovered key evidence that neutrinos have mass.

In the early 1990s, Barish co-led the design team for the GEM (Gammas, Electrons, Muons) detector, which was one of two large detectors scheduled to run at the Superconducting Super Collider near Waxahachie. Congress canceled the accelerator in 1993 during its construction — but major elements of the GEM design and many members of its team were integrated into LHC detector projects at the European Organization for Nuclear Research (CERN) in Geneva, Switzerland.

Barish became Caltech’s Ronald and Maxine Linde Professor of Physics in 1991 and Linde Professor Emeritus in 2005. From 2001 to 2002, he served as co-chair of the High Energy Physics Advisory Panel subpanel that developed a long-range plan for U.S. high-energy physics. He has served as president of the American Physical Society and chaired the Commission of Particles and Fields and the U.S. Liaison committee to the International Union of Pure and Applied Physics (IUPAP). In 2002, he chaired the NRC Board of Physics and Astronomy Neutrino Facilities Assessment Committee Report, “Neutrinos and Beyond.”

Barish was born in 1936 in Omaha, Nebraska, to Jewish immigrants from a part of Poland that is now part of Belarus. He grew up in the Los Angeles area and earned his B.A. degree in physics and his Ph.D. in experimental physics from the University of California-Berkeley in 1957 and 1962. A member of the National Academy of Sciences, Barish is also a fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, the American Association for the Advancement of Science, and the American Physical Society.

In 2002, Barish received the Klopsteg Memorial Lecture Award from the American Association of Physics Teachers. His honors also include the 2016 Enrico Fermi Prize from the Italian Physical Society, as well as the Henry Draper Medal, the Princess of Asturias Award for Technical and Scientific Research, the European Physical Society’s Giuseppe and Vanna Cocconi Prize, and Fudan University’s Fudan-Zhongzhi Science Award (all in 2017).

Barish holds honorary doctoral degrees from the University of Bologna, the University of Florida, and the University of Glasgow.

> Visit the SMU Commencement homepage: smu.edu/commencement

Philanthropist and actor Jeff Bridges to deliver final 2017-18 Tate Distinguished Lecture Tuesday, May 1

Jeff BridgesPhilanthropist, artist, musician and Academy Award-winning actor Jeff Bridges will deliver the final talk in SMU’s 2017-18 Tate Distinguished Lecture Series on Tuesday, May 1, 2018.

Emmy Award-winning Dallas film critic Gary Cogill will moderate the sold-out Anita and Truman Arnold Lecture. The event begins at 8 p.m. in McFarlin Auditorium.

The Tate Series will announce the events in the 2018-19 series before Bridges’ lecture. Arrive early and be among the first to know next year’s lineup.

> Follow Jeff Bridges on Twitter: @TheJeffBridges

A seven-time Oscar nominee, Jeff Bridges has been active in Hollywood since 1970. He won the 2009 Academy Award for Best Actor in a Leading Role for his performance as a faded country-western musician in the 2009 film Crazy Heart. His most recent nomination was for his role as Texas Ranger Marcus Hamilton in the 2016 film Hell or High Water.

Outside of the big screen, Bridges is the founder of the End Hunger Network and national spokesman for Share Our Strength’s No Kid Hungry campaign.

Bridges has also produced and narrated a new documentary, Living In the Future’s Past, exploring the origins and impulses of humans as a species, as well as the environmental challenges facing the world. The 2018 USA Film Festival has scheduled a free screening with director Susan Kucera in attendance at 7 p.m. Thursday, April 26, at the Angelika Film Center in Mockingbird Station. Tickets will be available at 6 p.m. at the USA Film Festival table inside the theater.

The evening lecture is sold out. All SMU community members are invited to the free Wells Fargo/Turner Construction Tate Lecture Series Student Forum at 4:30 p.m. Tuesday, May 1, in the Hughes-Trigg Student Center Ballroom. Doors open at 4 p.m. Tweet questions for Jeff Bridges to #TalkTate.

On the night of the event, students can go to the basement of McFarlin Auditorium at 7 p.m. with their SMU IDs for possible free seating at the evening lecture. Seats will be given on a first-come, first-served basis.

> Follow the Tate Series on social media: Twitter – @SMUtate | Instagram – @smutate

Meadows Theatre presents The Rep: Three Contemporary Plays April 26-May 6, 2018

For its final event of the 2017-18 academic year, the SMU Meadows Division of Theatre presents three contemporary American plays that will take turns sharing the black-box stage. The Rep: Three Contemporary American Plays Performed in Rotation runs April 26-May 6 on varying dates and times.

All three plays, all directed by students, will be performed in the Margo Jones Theatre, Owen Arts Center, on the SMU campus.

The plays, authors, dates, times and synopses:

Bethany by Laura Marks: Thursday, April 26 at 8 p.m.; Sunday, April 29 at 2 and 7:30 p.m.; Friday, May 4 at 8 p.m.

At the height of the foreclosure crisis, single mother Crystal loses more than her house. She struggles to stay positive – with plenty of help from a roommate with conspiracy theories, a motivational speaker with a secret, and her colleagues at the local Saturn dealership. But optimism is no match for a bad economy, and before long Crystal’s desperate quest to regain what she’s lost turns into the fight of her life. This darkly comic thriller explores just how far we’ll go to get back what’s ours.

Stupid F—ing Bird by Aaron Posner: Friday, April 27 at 8 p.m.; Wednesday, May 2 at 8 p.m.; Saturday, May 5 at 2 and 8 p.m.

An aspiring director rampages against the art created by his mother’s generation. A nubile young actress wrestles with an aging Hollywood star for the affections of a renowned novelist. And everyone discovers just how disappointing love, art and growing up can be. In this irreverent, contemporary and very funny remix of Chekhov’s The Seagull, Aaron Posner stages a timeless battle between young and old, past and present, and the search for the true meaning of it all.

Eurydice by Sarah Ruhl: Saturday, April 28 at 2 and 8 p.m.; Thursday, May 3 at 8 p.m.; Sunday, May 6 at 2 p.m.

In Eurydice, playwright Sarah Ruhl reimagines the classic myth of Orpheus through the eyes of its heroine. Dying too young on her wedding day, Eurydice must journey to the underworld, where she reunites with her father and struggles to remember her lost love. Ruhl has won the MacArthur “Genius” Award and is a Tony Award nominee and two-time Pulitzer Prize finalist.

Tickets are $8 for SMU students, faculty and staff. For more information call 214-768-2787 (214-SMU-ARTS).

— Written by Victoria Winkelman

> Learn more about The Rep at the Meadows School of the Arts website

Enjoy a gallery of images from BethanyEuridyce and Stupid F—ing Bird below.

Six speakers seek audience: Watch (and vote on) TEDxSMU student auditions Thursday, April 26, 2018

TEDxSMU logo

Six SMU students will vie for a speaking spot at the next TEDxSMU conference – and you can help select the winner.

Join the University community on Thursday, April 26, 2018 to hear students speak on topics ranging from innovation to infinity, and vote for the winner. This event is free and open to the entire SMU community.

The speakers and their topics are:

  • Melanie Calzada: Challenging the Idiom: The Apple Doesn’t Fall Far From the Tree
  • Kathryn Chavez: Define Yourself
  • Chelsea Dobbin: How Singing With People Changes Your Brain
  • Mason Mason: The Audacity of Innovation
  • Seifey Mohammad: The Essence of Infinity
  • Matthew Sipes: inspirED Teaching

The event is free and open to the public and runs from 5:30-7 p.m. in the Hughes-Trigg Student Center Commons. Food will be served at 5:30 p.m.; talks begin at 6.

> Visit TEDxSMU online: tedxsmu.org

Celebration of Life for longtime SMU staff member Gary Shultz to take place Monday, April 23, 2018

The SMU Office of the Chaplain has invited the University community to celebrate the life of longtime staff member Gary Shultz at 4 p.m. Monday, April 23, 2018. The event will take place in The Great Hall, Elizabeth Perkins Prothro Hall, in the theology quad.

A former Dallas Times-Herald journalist, Shultz was an SMU employee for more than 25 years and most recently served as director of online media relations and communications in the Office of News and Communications, SMU Public Affairs. Among his many accomplishments was his involvement in the creation of SMU’s first website. The smu.edu site continues to bear the marks of his original and ongoing work.

Shultz died on Thursday, April 5 after a brief illness. He is survived by his wife, Mary Ann, two daughters, and grandchildren. His family requests that memorial donations may be made to the Arbor Day Foundation.

For more information, contact the SMU Office of News and Communication, 214-768-7650.

Think green for SMU Earth Week 2018, April 23-28

SMU Earth Week Flier 2018Recycling demonstrations, a film screening, and Barefoot On the Boulevard mark SMU Earth Week 2018. The celebration takes place April 23-28 with events and activities all over campus.

The City of University Park and Town of Highland Park will be part of the action with a Park Cities Recycling Drive beginning at 10 a.m. Saturday, April 28 in the Commuter Lot. Bring your recycling – including old electronics such as tablets, computers or phones – to the parking lot next to the SMU Catholic Center, across the street from Burleson Park in the 3000 block of University Boulevard.

Earth Week opens with Become Aware – an event designed to demonstrate the contamination that occurs between SMU’s trash and its recycling, and how community members can recycle with confidence. Demos will take place from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. Monday, April 23 at the West Bridge and the flagpole on the Main Quad.

In Think Green, SMU faculty, staff and students will learn which items can and can’t be recycled. Visit the tables in Starbucks at Fondren Library Center from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. Tuesday, April 24.

One Earth features a screening of “Chasing Coral” – the award-winning 2017 documentary by Jeff Orlowski that captures the effects of climate change on the deaths and disappearances of coral reefs throughout the world. The movie begins at 6 p.m. Wednesday, April 25 in the Hughes-Trigg Student Center Theater.

The traditional Barefoot On the Boulevard celebration takes place 1-3 p.m. on Thursday, April 26. Relax on the Dallas Hall lawn, enjoy a free lunch, and learn how to tie-dye and build your own trail-mix bars.

> Learn more about SMU Sustainability: smu.edu/sustainability

SMU Meadows’ Ignite/Arts Dallas presents Pancho Villa From a Safe Distance May 4, 2018

Ignite Arts Dallas-SMU Meadows production of 'Pancho Villa From a Safe Distance'

For one night only, Ignite/Arts Dallas at SMU’s Meadows School of the Arts will present a touring bilingual rock opera exploring the life and lore of Pancho Villa, the enigmatic general, legendary bandit and hero of the Mexican Revolution. Pancho Villa From a Safe Distance takes the stage Friday, May 4, 2018 at 8 p.m. at the Texas Theatre, 231 W. Jefferson Boulevard in Oak Cliff, Dallas. The concert is presented in association with AT&T Performing Arts Center, the Oak Cliff Cultural Center and De Colores Radio.

Commissioned and premiered in 2016 by Ballroom Marfa and co-commissioned by Fusebox Festival, the opera is the third installment of The Marfa Triptych, a trilogy of musical performances by composer Graham Reynolds that was inspired by his interest in the intermingled populations of the Texas-Mexico border regions. The opera explores facts from Villa’s biography, examines the mythology surrounding him, and asks what Pancho Villa means to Mexican and American culture and where these meanings intersect and conflict.

Pancho Villa From a Safe Distance represents the kind of aesthetic and cultural hybridity that makes Texas such a unique place, which is why we present work like this for our students and the city,” said Clyde Valentín, director of Ignite/Arts Dallas.

> Learn the backstory of Pancho Villa From a Safe Distance: www.panchovillaopera.com

The opera is sung partly in Spanish, partly in English, with accompanying projected translations along with film clips and historic photos. The ensemble features LOLA’s (Local Opera Local Artists) Liz Cass and Austin Lyric Opera’s Paul Sanchez as mezzo-soprano and tenor vocalists, as well as six instrumentalists accompanying Grammy Award-winning producer Adrian Quesada on guitar. The work is directed by Shawn Sides of the Rude Mechs.

Tickets are $10 per person, available online at igniteartsdallas.info or at the door on the night of the show.

> Read the full story from the SMU Meadows website

SMU honors outstanding achievement, community service at 2017-18 Hilltop Excellence Awards and Honors Convocation

Laurel wreath stock photo - Hilltop Excellence AwardsSMU faculty, staff, administrators and students were recognized with teaching awards, service honors and the University’s highest commendation – the “M” Award – at the 2017-18 Hilltop Excellence Awards Monday, April 16.

Earlier in the day, the University honored its best students at the 21st annual Honors Convocation. The address was delivered by Maria Dixon Hall, senior adviser to the SMU Provost, associate professor in the Division of Corporate Communication and Public Affairs in Meadows School of the Arts, and adjunct associate professor of homiletics in Perkins School of Theology.

> Find a complete list of award winners from Honors Convocation 2018

Appointed in August 2016 as Senior Advisor to the Provost for Cultural Intelligence, Dixon Hall is charged with oversight of the University’s efforts to ensure that all members of the SMU community are equipped to effectively create, collaborate, and work on solutions to change the world. In this role, she is responsible for development and implementation of the University’s new cultural intelligence curriculum and training program.

As director of mustangconsulting, Dixon Hall heads a staff of some of SMU’s best and brightest communication students. The group serves a global client list that includes corporate, nonprofit, and religious organizations such as Southwest Airlines (Dallas), The Dance Theatre of Harlem (New York), the Ugandan American Partnership Organization (Kampala/Dallas), The Lydia Patterson Institute (El Paso), and Carry the Load (Atlanta/Dallas).

A graduate of the Culverhouse School of Business at the University of Alabama, Dixon Hall earned her Master of Divinity and Master of Theology from the Candler School of Theology at Emory University, as well as a Ph.D. in organizational communication and religion from the University of Missouri-Columbia.

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SMU Football holds 2018 Spring Game on Saturday, April 14

SMU Spring Game 2018

The SMU Mustang football team, along with head coach Sonny Dykes, will demonstrate a tougher, more physical defensive game during the 2018 Spring Game on Saturday, April 14. The scrimmage begins at 11 a.m. in Ford Stadium.

> SMUMustangs.com: Mustangs Winding Down Spring But Maintaining Physical Mindset

Gates will open at 10 a.m. and, along with on-field action, fans will be part of a halftime celebration to mark the start of construction of SMU’s Indoor Performance Center. The Mustang Kids’ Zone will be set up in the south end zone, and fans can pick up 2018 schedule magnets and meet the coaches and players after the game.

SMU Magazine: Game Changer: SMU Indoor Performance Center

Concessions will be available, and Mi Cocina, Bahama Buck’s and Ruthies Rolling Cafe will be on-site. Admission is free, and so is parking in the Moody and Binkley Parking Centers.

The Mustangs open the 2018 season on Sept. 1 at North Texas, before returning to the Hilltop for a Friday night match-up with Metroplex rival TCU on Sept. 7. The Battle for the Iron Skillet will also be SMU’s annual Whiteout Game.

The team will play Michigan in Ann Arbor on Sept. 15 and hosts Houston Baptist on Sept. 29 (Family Weekend) for its final non-conference game.

> Read more from SMUMustangs.com

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